Car Safety Tips That Every Driver Needs To Know

Car safety tips that every driver needs to know

Car safety is something that should obviously be focused on by everybody, but it seems
that it is always taken for granted. It’s actually a scary thought. 1.35 million-deaths-per-
year-scary.

Yes, you read that right. According to the World Health Organization, approximately
1.35 million people per year die in road crashes. The saddest part is that the majority of
what causes road accidents are preventable such as car maintenance and driver
competency. If you yourself are a driver, then you must be alarmed by these facts.

The best way to prevent and reduce the number of road accidents that happen annually
is to start with yourself. Educate yourself and do what you need to do to stay safe and to
keep others safe. This article will give car safety tips that every driver needs to know to
inform with emphasis on road safety.

Perform safety checks

Regularly check your car even before you get on the road. Proper car maintenance not
only assures safety but also extends the lifespan of your vehicle. Here are the simple
car safety checks that you have to work your way through regularly before driving:

● Check your tyres
Never overlook the condition of your tyres. Your tyres are the only things that provide
cushion between your car and the asphalt. Schedule regular checking of your tyre
pressure and tyre tread depth. If you see that you need to replace them, get to your
trusted and nearest tyre shop to purchase and install new ones.

● Check your battery
Have your battery tested as part of your routine safety check. Drained batteries are one
of the most common causes of breakdowns, which is an inconvenience that you don’t
want to encounter, particularly if you have a schedule to follow.

● Check your lights
Inspect both exterior and interior lights of your car at least once a month and refer to
your owner’s manual to understand the use of lighting systems in your car. Brake lights
are integral to your safety, so make sure that you don’t leave those out. Thoroughly
check your lighting and replace bulbs if necessary.

● Check your engine oil and other essential car fluids
The engine oil lubricates, cleans, cools, and protects your car engine. It’s important that
your oil and oil filter are changed according to your car manufacturer’s guidelines.
Aside from your engine oil, you must also keep an eye on your car’s coolant level,
power steering fluid and brake fluid, as they also play an important role in your car’s
functionality.

● Check your windscreen wash and wipers
Check your windscreen washing fluids and top up as needed. Also, take a look at all
window cleaning and demisting features and see if everything is working properly. You
don’t want anything blurring your view, especially during the rainy season.

Tips for safe driving

The simplest tips are often the best ones when it comes to driving safely. Here is a
refresher of what some of these tips are:

● Buckle up
Seatbelts save lives. It’s a cliche, but it’s true. This cannot be stated enough. Always
wear your seatbelt regardless of the speed that you are driving.

● Focus
Never be distracted by anything while driving. Always stay alert and stay focused on the
road at all times and be wary of what other drivers around you are doing.

● Obey traffic rules
Pay close attention to the traffic signs and the stoplight. Respect and obey all of them
and always use indicators when turning or moving between lanes.

Final thoughts

Yours and other people’s safety starts from you. Ensure that your car is in good
condition and always drive safely. Don’t be a statistic by being a better car owner and
driver.

Guest Writer: Rosette Monell

Rosette has a knack for anything DIY, but not only that,
she also knows a lot about chores and stuff as
she spent her younger years immersed in books about
hardware tools, equipment, and tires. As a child, she
once dreamed of establishing her own hardware & tire
store. Her career options may have changed, but today,
she continues to write so passionately about her first
love.

5 ways you can show some love to your car

Blog post header imageIt’s Valentine’s Day! Whether you’re single or taken, you’re probably not forgetting about your #1 Valentine who’s there for you during all the important journeys of life.

In celebration of our love for cars, we thought of sharing some TLC car care tips that may extend the life of your special one. Your car will love you for it!

5 ways you can show some love to your car

  1. Check how it’s doing
    Just like your loved ones, your car also needs some attention from you. Spend a little time with it checking the tyre tread, tyre pressure, wiper blades and fluid levels such as oil, water and anti-freeze. Here’s some essential checks you can do.
  2. Make it feel beautiful
    Most of us might not be using our cars as much as before so a car wash (or even a vacuum of the interiors) could be the perfect gift for your vehicle. Added tip: keeping your car clean and tidy and in great condition will also help reduce depreciation!

  3. Get rid of the distractions
    Take some time out to clear all the unnecessary clutter – your relationship with your car doesn’t need any distractions. You could also install a new car air freshener to spice things up!

  4. Be gentle with it
    Sometimes a hug is all we need to feel better. The best way to extend a warm hug to your car is to go gentle with the brakes and a lighter foot on the accelerator.
  5. Treat your car to a special date
    If it’s been a while since your car last had a full service you could show some love by sending it for a full service. You can book a mechanic on our network to come to you so your car gets the love it deserves.

If you are concerned your vehicle may have become unsafe, unreliable or something has happened to it, then our in-house mechanic team can help. Submit our technical assistance form with a brief description of the problem and your details.

How to make car travel COVID-safe

covid-safe car travel header image

Car travel right now looks a lot different than before. We all miss the weekend getaways and family trips, but until it is safe to do, we need to ensure we’re being responsible and staying safe.

With the whole of the UK in lockdown, according to the government guidelines, only travel for work and other exemptions are still allowed. Rules vary for different parts of the UK so make sure to check them before travelling.

If you do have to travel for essential trips we put together some tips to help you stay safer while travelling in a car.

Top tips to make travelling by car safer during COVID

  • Sanitize and clean:
    If you’re travelling in your own car, remember to regularly clean ‘high-touch’ surfaces that include the steering wheel, door handles, stereo controls, etc. Use a cleaner approved for the surface you’re cleaning, on a microfibre cloth to disinfect these surfaces. Sanitiser sprayed on a cloth can also be used to wipe down and sterilise the interior of your vehicle.Always remember to wash your hands for 20 seconds before and after your journey to reduce the risk of catching the virus. Pro tip: the chorus of Jolene by Dolly Parton is the perfect 20-second hand washing reference!
  • Space out and mask up:
    A car is a small space so we might forget to keep distance when travelling in a car. When travelling in a taxi, avoid sitting on the front seat and opt for the seat diagonal to the driver’s seat instead. And of course, when you’re not in your own car, always use a face covering.

  • Check if your car is safe to drive:
    If you haven’t been using your car as often due to the lockdown, it is important to ensure your vehicle is safe and roadworthy before you drive. Most car breakdowns can be prevented with basic vehicle checks.  Here are five essential car checks you can do.

Keeping in mind government guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we offer contact-free car repair services to keep you (and mechanics) safe at this time.

Book your car repair now

4 easy steps to defrost your car windscreen

A recent TikTok video went viral showing a person using boiling water in a bag to defrost a windscreen. While this may seem like a quick hack, it can prove to be dangerous and may lead to cracking of the windscreen.

So before you make that essential trip to stock up on some groceries, here are some helpful tips to safely defrost your windscreen:

  1. Before starting your vehicle make sure your wipers are turned off, as they may be stuck to the windscreen
  2. Start up the engine and use the interior heater blower to warm up the windscreen from inside, it will help to slowly but safely defrost the windscreen. If you have them, also turn on the rear window heater and heated mirrors to help defrost the rear window and mirrors.
  3. Clear any snow off your car with a soft brush, then use an ice scraper and de-icer to remove the frost from the windscreen and windows on the outside as the heater warms up the windows from the inside.
  4. Wait until all the frost and mist has cleared before setting off.

And remember:

  • Avoid using any sharp objects such as credit cards to remove the frost which could cause damage to the glass. Always keep a dedicated car ice scraper to de-ice! Do NOT use hot or boiling water to defrost your windscreen or windows, it could crack the glass!
  • If you know you’re going to use the car the next day on a cold night, cover the windscreen with a dedicated windscreen frost protector.
  • Do not leave your car running unattended to keep your car safe from thieves.

If you have any concern that there may be something wrong with your car, then our in-house mechanic team can help. Submit our technical assistance form with a brief description of the problem and your details.

Book your car repair now

What’s your 2021 resolution?

From healthier eating to breaking bad habits, you probably have some new year resolutions in mind for 2021. We’ve put together a top 5 of resolutions you can make to keep your car in great condition.

Top 5 New Year Resolutions For Motorists

  • Driving economically
    You’re aware of the dangers of speeding, but did you know that slowing down is not only safer but more cost-effective for the driver as well – particularly if travelling on the motorway. Most cars are designed to drive at an optimum speed of about 55mph, which means driving any faster will have an increasing impact on fuel consumption and generate additional emissions.
  • Give your car a good clean
    Keep your car as clean as you’d keep your home. Road salt, for example, can cause corrosion across the outside of your car whilst leaving old food items in your car is never a good idea. Try to clean your car at least once a month to help keep it in good shape.
  • Take a break
    The Highway Code recommends that drivers should take a 15-minute break every two hours. Even if it’s just pausing to stretch the legs; it’s an opportunity to take a break from the road and refresh.
  • Checking your tyres
    Tyres are what keep your car rolling, literally. Make sure you check tyre pressure and tyre tread to avoid damage to your car. Here’s a helpful guide to tyre pressure.
  • Stick to your service schedule
    Keeping on top of your car’s servicing schedule can help you avoid any potential repairs and breakdowns. Also, if you’re thinking about selling your car in the future, buyers will feel more confident buying a car that’s been well maintained with documented service checks.

Have you made a resolution for your car yet? What are your car goals for 2021? Let us know by tweeting to us @clickmechanic

All our mechanics follow contact-free booking procedures, so if you want to book a service, it’s super simple; select your car, fill in your postcode and we’ll provide you with an instant price.

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Do you have these winter essentials in your car?

You’ve probably brought out your favourite pair of gloves and your best winter hat but what about your car? With a drop in temperature, you and your car need a bit of extra care during winters too. Here are a few winter essentials you should consider keeping in your car during winter:

  • Ice scraper:
    This one’s a must-have! Even in temperatures above freezing, the surface of your car can develop frost. With an ice scraper, it’s important to clear the windscreen thoroughly before driving to aid visibility. Also, it should help ensure your wipers don’t wear out quickly. Keeping a snow brush handy is a good idea, too.
  • Screenwash:
    It’s worthwhile checking and replacing your screenwash if needed – this acts as an antifreeze agent for the wash wipe system. If there are frosty conditions then de-icing the windows is the first thing to do before setting off. Keeping your windows clean whilst driving is the second step. To do that it is worth ensuring your screenwash is topped up.
  • Power bank charger:
    You don’t want to be left stranded without a working phone! Ideally, you’ll always have a car charger handy, but having a power bank in your car is beneficial in case you can’t use the USB or charging port.
  • Water and non-perishable snacks:
    It’s always a good idea to keep some snacks in your car. Especially during unpredictable weather conditions that might cause a delay.
  • Warm blanket:
    Temperatures this time of year can drop below freezing so it’s smart to store a blanket in the boot, especially if you’re planning long trips. In the event your car breaks down, you have something to keep you warm until help arrives.

If you’re unsure your car is ready for winter conditions then get a Vehicle Health Check or a Service to get your car ready for the weather coming up. Checking the battery, fluids, wipers and tyres is critical during these colder months of the year.

If you want to book a serviceit’s super simple; select your car, fill in your postcode and we’ll provide you with an instant price.

BOOK NOW

Top Tips For Travelling By Car This Summer

How to get ready for summer travel

2020 has been a rollercoaster year so far. But the summer isn’t over yet and most of us are still trying to make the most of it. With many international travel restrictions still in effect, summer travel this year will be very different for many of us. Domestic travel by road this summer is looking like a great option to consider.

Before you head off for a road trip, here are some top tips to keep in mind:

Pre-Travel

  • Packing up all your summer road trip essentials
    Besides your favourite summer hat, make sure you pack things that will come in handy. Some essentials include a roadside emergency kit and first aid kit, reusable bottles of water and snacks, sunscreen and most importantly a playlist that includes all your favourite road trip sing-alongs.
  • Is your car ready for a summer road trip? 
    If your vehicle hasn’t been used to any great extent recently, it is recommended to do a thorough checkup of your vehicle in advance and get any issues fixed prior to traveling. Check our 6 car checks you can do yourself here.
  • COVID-19 precautions you can take
    Once you decide your destination, do your research about local guidelines and policies. Some beaches and tourist locations have rules in place to ensure the safety of both the locals as well as tourists.Along with the mandated face mask, it’s advisable to carry sufficient hand sanitiser, disinfectant wipes and sprays.

During Your Travel

  • Social Distancing
    With COVID-19 still being a significant threat to our health, it’s important to maintain social distancing especially at high touchpoint areas such as petrol stations, garages or even convenience stores.
  • Sanitising
    Use that hand sanitiser you carried if you come in contact with any public space. When you re-enter or exit your vehicle, it is advisable to sanitise or wash your hands for 20 seconds whenever possible.
  • Eating out
    If you are to dining out, make sure you double down on the preventative measures and take all the precautions needed to protect yourself and the people you interact with. The government has provided more guidance for your journey here.

Once You’re back home

  • Clean Up
    Or even better, do a deep clean! Make sure you separate your clothes for laundry and hop into the shower. Disinfect your car and any other surfaces such as luggage, picnic baskets, coolers, etc.

At ClickMechanic, we offer contact-free car servicing & repairs to help keep customers and mechanics safe. If you are concerned that your vehicle may not be ready to drive or if you are not sure what is wrong with your car then place a booking online for our 28-point Vehicle Health Check.

Book your car repair now

Is Your Car Touring Ready?

After more than 3 months, lockdown restrictions will be eased on caravan and touring parks from the 4th of July in England. As the British Summer is well and truly here in its full glory, no doubt many of you will be keen to get away in your Motorhome or take your caravan somewhere to enjoy our celebrated beauty spots.

However, before doing so, especially if your vehicle hasn’t been used to any great extent recently, it is recommended to do a thorough checkup of your vehicle in advance. The last thing you’d want is a delayed or even an abandoned break.

Checks To Carry Out Before Travelling

  • Battery
    If you have had to recently “jump start” your vehicle after it was not used for a while, make sure that it is now starting up without any problems, especially if being left for a few days. A flat battery can spell disaster on a road trip.
  • Fluids
    Check the levels of your vehicle’s essential fluids thoroughly. Ensure your engine oil is in-between the minimum and maximum marks of the dipstick, top up if required using the correct oil, but do not overfill.Check that your coolant has recently been refreshed and is in between the minimum and maximum marks on the header tank, topping up if required – but please do both the check and top up when the engine is cold.It is also worthwhile to check your windscreen washer fluid reservoir and top that up too.
  • Tyres
    Make sure your tyre pressures are correct and make any adjustments required, especially if you intend to tow a caravan as the pressure requirements on the rear may be slightly different from those when unladen. Also check your spare wheel – and of course your caravan’s tyres!
  • Lights
    Do a visual check of all your lights AND those of your caravan and replace any failed bulbs or have any electrical issues resolved in towing electrical connections well in advance.
  • Brakes
    Take a moment to visually inspect your brake pads, through the wheels, where possible. Towing adds extra pressure and reliance on good brakes. You’d be surprised at the amount of call-outs for brakes that are received from holiday destinations!
  • Clutch
    Does your clutch pedal feel it has good even pressure and have you noticed any untoward noises, snatching as you change gear or even difficulty getting into gear. Now would be a good time to have that looked at.

Aside from that, don’t forget to check your cigarette lighter socket is working properly, so you can charge mobile devices, and ensure you carry your car insurance and breakdown assistance details with you.

A note from our Mechanic in Residence

Drive carefully with due consideration to other road users, know the speed limits and check the access before heading down a lane and off the main highway. You may not be in a rush, but do check your mirrors for following traffic and pull over when safe to do so to let the “locals” past you. We do appreciate it, especially down here in Devon! Happy Touring!

– Nigel, ClickMechanic’s Mechanic in Residence and Devon resident!

If you are unsure whether your vehicle is safe and ready to drive for a longer road trip, then book a FREE phone consultation  with one of our experienced in-house mechanics or place a booking online for our 28-point Vehicle Health Check.

Book your car repair now

5 Essential Car Checks To Do If You’ll Need To Start Using Your Car Again

As we’re sure you’ll be aware, the government has recently reviewed the Coronavirus restrictions and has made some changes.

For some people this may now mean you will start to use your car again after a longer period of being parked up or used a lot less than usual. If that is the case, you will likely find that your car may struggle to start or has other issues that will prevent it from performing optimally. Like humans, it needs a little stretch when it comes out of slumber!

However, there are a few checks you can do now to help ensure your car is safe and ready to set off again.

5 Essential Checks To Ensure Your Car Is Ready To Drive

  1. Battery & Electrics
    If your vehicle hasn’t been started periodically then the battery is likely to be flat. Firstly, insert the key into the ignition and switch to the first position, and if no lights come on, it’s very flat, if when you try to start the engine, the light flickers and you get either a slow turn of the engine or a rapid clicking, then the battery is too low on power.If you are not comfortable with or are unable to get help jump starting the battery, book an inspection with ClickMechanic for a technician to come out and help.
  2. Engine
    If you are fortunate and the engine starts, allow the vehicle to idle for 5 minutes before driving off. This will allow things to warm up gradually, belts to ease back into life and the cooling system time to circulate.
  3. Wheels & Tyres
    Whilst the engine is idling and warming up, it is a good time to check your tyre pressures as under-inflation will cause damage to the sidewall if you drive with low pressure in them, as well as being dangerous!
  4. Suspension
    During the tyre pressure check, take a quick look at the gap between the top of the tyres and the wheel arches and make sure it is even on both sides. If not, it could be a clear indication that a spring has broken whilst the vehicle has been stationary.
  5. Brakes
    Finally when you are ready to drive off, dab the brakes a few times and gently depress the clutch pedal a few times if it is a manual.If you haven’t driven your vehicle, inevitably your brake discs will gain a coating of rust. This is quite normal and in most cases once the car is moving and the brakes have been applied a few times, this will clean off. It may be a bit noisy to start with, but it’s ok!Hopefully, your handbrake will not have stuck on. However, if, as you drive off, the wheels drag or the car won’t move but instead rises up, it has stuck on! Do not under any circumstances simply try and keep driving it to release it as you can damage the brakes. Book a mechanic to come out and do it safely.One last word of advice, give your windscreen a wash as it’s likely to smear quite badly at the first few swipes so it’s best to do that before you set off!

If you are concerned that your vehicle may have become unsafe, unreliable or something has happened to it, book a FREE phone consultation with one of our experienced in-house mechanics or place a booking online for our contact-free mobile mechanic service.

Book your car repair now

How To Keep Your Car Safe And Ready To Drive

As we’re sure you’ll be aware, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 the government has asked everyone to stay home for all but essential travel. That means using your car only for the most essential journeys like shopping for basic necessities, attending to medical needs or, if you cannot work from home, travelling to and from work.

As a consequence of this, your car may move a lot less than usual, or potentially not move at all. Like humans, cars do not cope well with being left alone. They seize up, go flat and will moan and groan when they do have to move again.

So we decided to pull together 5 essential tips to help keep your car in good shape and ready for when you need it.

5 Tips To Keep Your Vehicle Safe And Ready

Battery & Electrics

If your vehicle isn’t started periodically then the battery is likely to go flat. Despite being switched off, certain circuits like the alarm and immobiliser do take a trickle of power, and can drain the battery over time.

So, to keep your battery in good shape, once a week at least, start the engine and let it run up to temperature to give the battery a boost.

Engine

To prolong the life of your engine and reduce the chance of seizure start the engine on a weekly basis. By starting the engine, you will give the oil a chance to warm up and run around the internal components and lubricate them.

It also gives the drive belts a chance to move their position against pulleys, tensioners and guides. If you don’t do this, the belts can become weakened at the constant pressure points.

The engine coolant will also get to circulate and as it also includes a rust inhibitor it will dilute any condensation and refresh the system. Once started, all the other items such as your alternator and water pump will self lubricate their bearings, once again prolonging their life and reducing the chance of seizure.

Wheels & Tyres

If a vehicle is left standing for a period of time, the sidewalls of the tyre in that one position will take all the strain. Moving the car forwards or backwards by just half a wheel turn will shift the pressure point.

This is also a good time to check your tyre pressures as under-inflation will cause further damage to the sidewall and may even render the tyre dangerous.

Suspension

Just like our joints, your car’s suspension needs to be kept supple. We are not suggesting going out for a drive but a little bit of movement can make all the difference! Even just sitting in the car will move a lot of the components enough to prevent most issues. You would be surprised by the amount of springs that break when a car is left stationary for a long period!

Brakes

When you give your car its weekly warm up, dab the brakes a few times and while your feet are down there, give the clutch pedal a bit of exercise as well if it’s a manual!

If you don’t drive your vehicle, inevitably your brake discs will gain a coating of rust. This is quite normal and in most cases once the car is moving and the brakes applied a few times, this will clean off. It may be a bit noisy to start with, but it’s ok!

And finally, don’t leave the parking brake on unless really necessary!

If you leave your parking brake on for a long period, it is highly likely it will “stick on”. So although you released the handle, the brakes are still applied. You will feel the car try and move but it may drag the wheel(s) or rise up and not budge! To prevent this, leave the car in gear and release the handbrake if it is a manual, or simply leave it in P on an automatic.

If you do forget and it sticks on, do not under any circumstances simply try and keep driving it to release it as you can damage the brakes. Book a mechanic to come out and do it safely.

If you are concerned that your vehicle may have become unsafe, unreliable or something has happened to it, book a FREE phone consultation with one of our experienced in-house mechanics or you can use our new contact-free service to place a booking.